ICT companies significantly contribute to a country’s economy, either directly or indirectly. They lead to the creation of jobs and increases in productivity, added value and exports. As such, in Belgium the ICT sector’s contribution to growth is estimated at 20%.About one third of this percentage is generated in the Brussels Region, which has unique growth potential thanks to the high concentration of ICT companies and its central location in Belgium. The Brussels regional government strongly supports the ICT sector in Brussels, and the region’s Contract for Economy and Employment designates the ICT sector as one of the three key innovative sectors in Brussels.
As indicated in the Regional Plan for Innovation, the ICT business unit of the Brussels Enterprise Agency has been requested by the Brussels Region to set up and manage clusters in order to increase synergies between players in the ICT sector.
The Software Market in Brussels
According to Datamonitor, Belgium software market accounts for 3.3% of the European software market.
In Brussels, the software industry is very dynamic. Between 2007 and 2009, the total turnover grew by 23% and about 45% of the R&D investments subsidized by the Region concern software companies.
There are 121 companies active in the software sector. Among them, 60% produce and commercialize their own packaged software or internet-based software.
Based on the function of the software, the 73 software vendors of the Software In Brussels Cluster can be classified as follows :
The R&D in Brussels
Brussels has three universities (ULB, VUB, UCL) and four institutes of higher education in engineering associated within Indutec, which develops technological activities in the field of ICT. It also has a competence centre specialised in software engineering created by Agoria (SIRRIS).
Technological incubators dedicated to ICT have been created by the Brussels Region: the Erasmus European Business and Innovation Center (EEBIC) associated with the UL B, the Arsenal Incubation Centre in Brussels (ICAB) run by the VUB, and the interuniversity incubator “Brussels Business Case” managed by the Brussels Regional Development Agency (BRDA). The goal of these structures is to assist high-tech start-ups and spin-offs in the ICT sector.
The research is supported by the instituion Innoviris.
The financing possibilities in Brussels
The Brussels Regional Investment Company (BRIC), Business Angels networks (BeAngels), venture capital funds active in the seed or early stage (Sherpa Invest), the Participation Fund, the Warranty Fund and commercial banks based in Brussels offer numerous financing options for start-ups and high-growth companies.
Scientific research and the technical development efforts of companies are encouraged thanks to the implementation of effective public financing measures in the form of subsidies or interest-free loans issued by Innoviris.
Financial and promotional support for exports can also be obtained from Brussels-Export.
|< Prev||Next >|